12 March, 2011

Did I Mention the Rain?

It's Saturday, the tenth of March. We're less than a fortnight into the month and already we have had more than 355mm of rain- that's about 14 inches in the Imperial measure and as I type, it is teeming down again. If it weren't for the palm trees, one could almost be forgiven for thinking it was blizzard/whiteout conditions- and the fact that it's about 25C outside as well. Not many blizzards at those temps.

The opportunities for a dry ride have been few and far between so when it wasn't bucketing at 5:15 this morning I decided to head out. It didn't rain for the majority of the 50 km circuit but it may as well have. The roads were still heavily puddled and it wasn't long before I could feel the water seeping between my toes and draining out through the bottom of my shoes.

It was better than yesterday though- I had probably only gone about 800 metres when the skies opened and so started a less than satisfactory ride. As I have said before, if it starts raining while I'm on the road, I'll stick it out- and that was my intention yesterday.

After about 4km with visibility seriously hampered (I need to wear my glasses when cycling and the rain on them was compounding the optical issues), I hit something on the road- nothing big, just very sharp- with the resulting tube failure sounding like a .22 shot. There was a bloke walking his dog along the sidewalk (which in that section of town have awnings from most of the businesses) who just about jumped out of his skin.

So I pulled off to the side of the road to hone my tyre repair/tube changing skills just a bit further. I was fortunate enough to be able to step under an awning to make my repairs as the intensity of the rain increased, seemingly every 30 seconds or so.

A quick once-over of the tyre revealed that the offending material had either been blown back out when the tube let go or was still somewhere on the road. There was however, a large gash right through the full depth of the carcass and any tube put in was doomed to fail.

They say if you throw enough money at a problem, it will disappear. For this problem I folded a five dollar note (we have that plasticy/mylar money here in Oz) and put it inside the tyre- over the cut. Popped in the new tube and pumped it up- ready to hit the road. The cut was big enough that the note was visible so I decided to not tempt fate and continue the ride, but to turn around and go home.

The rain had eased somewhat while I got the tyre fixed up but I probably hadn't gone more than 1/2km when down it came again. I did manage to make it home without further incident but it really took the edge off the day.

Racing for Sunday has already been cancelled due to a military exercise in the area where the race was scheduled. Apparently there will be a large number of vehicles on the road and we don't have the luxury of road closures for our races. The MTB event that was scheduled for tomorrow has also been canned- this time on account of the rain. It was scheduled to be a TT hill climb on a fairly new track but the club just doesn't want to risk too much damage to an overly sodden trail.

So with a bit of luck and the weather permitting, I'll just have to find another ride for tomorrow.

And I guess I shouldn't feel bad about the rain- a small town to the north of us, Tully, has had 2085mm since the first of this year- that's 2.085 metres of rain- most of that having fallen since they were hit by a category 5 cyclone early last month.

Cheers- ride safe


Trevor Woodford said...

I hope that you manage to get a 'dry' ride on Sunday...Sounds like you have had enough rain to last for quite sometime.


BoaB said...

Well we did get a fairly dry ride in Trevor- it had been raining until about 3:30 this morning and we squeezed in about 50km. The rains returned shortly thereafter and have been intermittent all day.